Last week, the “Dancing with the Stars” cast showed what they are capable of: Elisabetta Canalis can get by on her looks. (Yes, we just said that.) Chaz Bono can move better than anyone expected. Carson Kressley made us laugh. And Chynna Phillips, J.R. Martinez, Hope Solo, and Ricki Lake showed some real moves, and by doing so put themselves out in front…for now.
And this week? Well, the remaining 11 hopefuls tackled the Jive and the Quickstep. In other words, it got harder – with the expected results: Ricki soared, Kristin Cavallari dazzled, others were merely serviceable or missed their marks altogether, and still others, this being a great television show, were just along for the crazy wacky ride that is quickly coming to define, at least to me, season 13 of “Dancing with the Stars.”
Here’s how it played out…
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Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Jive
Last week, she came in second on the leader board with a 21, just one point from the top dancers Chynna and J.R. This week she took the stage in a sexy soccer outfit and high heel cleats. Two words on that: too soon. As for the dance itself, it was a total mess. Blame it on her dual rehearsal schedule of soccer practice in the morning and dancing in the evening. However, Len Goodman liked her performance, though he noted that she lost her timing and synchronicity to a largely booing crowd. Bruno Tonioli said, “You have to now be precise and accurate. You lost it so many times. Yes you did!” Carrie Ann Inaba told her to relax into it. “Maybe a little more rehearsal,” she added.
Kristin Cavallari and Mark Ballas: Quickstep
Whoa, what a lovely Marilyn Monroe this former “Hills” star made tonight. Confession: She is growing on me. As she said in the opener last week, she is not a bitch – and we can vouch for that based on how lovely she is in our post-show interviews. Her dance to the tune of “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” which included a nice flip courtesy of Mark, was a genuine sparkler. “I have been bedazzled by the blonde bombshell!” declared Bruno. “You just worked it beautifully.” Carrie Ann loved it. “Last week, nervous. This week, stunning!” Crankypants Len said, “You look fantastic. But it wasn’t as good as you look,” and criticized the pair for breaking a hold, which is a no-no in Quickstep land.
David Arquette and Kym Johnson: Jive
Last week Courteney and Coco sat front row center; this week David’s sisters, Rosanna and Patricia Arquette, were present to cheer their baby brother. Did he make his sisters proud? More than likely. The dance featured David’s quirky personality, but it glaringly lacked technique and control. “Any connection with the Jive was a coincidence,” said Len. “The technique wasn’t there.” “You were like a runaway train!” shouted Bruno. But Carrie Ann thought he did a “good job” and liked his energy. David once again got 6-6-6 – a devilish score – that annoyed the crowd. He joked to Brooke Burke that when he gets out there with the loud music he “just goes ba-ba-booey!”
Elisabetta Canalis and Val Chmerkovskiy: Quickstep
“Oh my God! It looks like being in a Kindergarten,” complained the Italian hottie when her pro was trying to teach her the difficult steps. Mark that down as the first butting of heads of the season. If this were the gong show, I would’ve gonged her at the first step. (Sorry, I am with the Kardashian sisters on this one!) “It’s not great, but it was better than last week,” said Len. Bruno thought she was “back on track” and went on about her pistons pumping. Carrie Ann said, “You totally came back and you nailed the steps.” Whaaattt??? Yep, she got a 21, up 6 whopping points from last week’s disaster. But will the tension with Val not go over well with voters? Time will tell.
Robert Kardashian and Cheryl Burke: Jive
Uh-oh. The campy Hawaiian shirt does not bode well for his reputation of being a bit too laid back. But, boy, does our heart go out to him when he talked about his lack of confidence over his body shape right now. Didn’t it make you want to hug him? The poor boy was scared to death. And, to eat the dance floor in that rehearsal fall? Pity points are due here. We hope he pulls it together. He did get a standing ovation, including from his parents Kris and Bruce Jenner. Bruno said, “Great, great improvement.” Carrie Ann loved it. “It’s official! Rob Kardashian is a better dancer than Kim Kardashian! No disrespect to Kim…” Len said it was a proper performance, confident, and well done.
Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya: Quickstep
He’s got the funny down. He’s got the entertainment factor down. He’s likable. But, tonight, Carson, dressed as a nerd in glasses and a bow time, had to dazzle the judges with some technique and fancy footwork. But the costume couldn’t hide the campy klutz. “I saw improvement, yet I’m not sure what happened to that improvement in the dance. It was a little wobbly,” said Carrie Ann. “If I held my knife and fork like you held Anna, I would starve to death…the worst dancers on the show are the most fun to watch,” said Len. Bruno said there is a lot of work to do technically, but the entertainment fact is great. Yeah, like we said.
Ricki Lake and Derek Hough: Jive
Fun, sexy, and bootylicious! Ricki was on fire and looking quite confident in a skimpy outfit. The judges were mixed on this one. “There were a couple of steps that disturbed me a little bit. I didn’t like it. I liked the fun. I liked the exuberance. I would’ve liked a little more Jive content,” said Len, who, we think called Derek a sausage. Huh? Bruno said she was the first to do the kicks and flicks correctly. “Best jive of the night so far!” beamed Carrie Ann. Ricki also reported that she lost 12 inches in three weeks so far. More to come…
Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer: Quickstep
Poor Chaz. He’s hampered by very bad knees, which, in case you missed it, literally made a crunching sound when he flexed them. As such, he wasn’t able to move across the dance floor as well as he did last week. The judges were not sympathetic. “It was like watching a little Ewok dance with Princess Leia,” said Bruno. Carrie Ann felt his pain, but said it’ll likely hurt his score. Len said, “The bottom line is it’s a quickstep. I moved faster through the carwash.”
Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani: Jive
Chynna was feeling the pressure. ‘I’m just gonna start cursing!” she said in rehearsal. “Sorry Jesus, I have to curse!” Yeah, rehearsals were that bad, and watching them you got the idea it would take a miracle for her to shine on the hardwood. Even with hubby Billy Baldwin making the sizzling hot symbol with his finger in the audience as he watched his wife shake her moneymaker, she was decidedly lukewarm. “I kind of felt like you played it a little safe,” said Carrie Ann. “It was good,” chimed Len. “It wasn’t great.” Bruno told her to turn on her sexy siren and bring more va-va-voom.
Nancy Grace and Tristan McManus: Quickstep
When you score a 16 in week one, there’s only one way to go. But did she go up far enough? After a rehearsal breakdown, where she didn’t get all mean like she does on her CNN show, Nancy pulled herself up by her dance shoe straps and tried to live up to her last name. “How refreshing!” said Len. “That was a proper quickstep. Well done!” Bruno joked, “It was a bit top heavy at times” referring to her overflowing bosom. Carrie Ann said she would’ve liked more razzmatazz.
J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff: Quickstep
Looking adorable in matching newsboy costumes, J.R. proved he’s got the consistency, technique, and flair to take this thing all the way. The dance seemed almost too perfect to be true. “J.R., you were born to dance!” said Bruno. “The most satisfying overall performance of the night.” Carrie Ann loved it but criticized the illegal lift. “Other than that, that was fun and fabulous!” Len said, “I was looking for a Jive and you gave me a Lindy Hop here.”